Group, monarch seek urgent action against distressed buildings
Akiolu, while lamenting incidences of building collapse in the metropolis, alleged connivance between developers and a few bad eggs in the government service, at the same time, indicted some of his chiefs who he said compromise with developers in the construction of some substandard buildings
MIFFED by the embarrassing development in the Lagos metropolis caused by incessant building collapse, the Oba of Lagos, Rilwan Akiolu, has called on the authorities to urgently take action against all identified distressed buildings in the state.
Part of the action, according to the monarch is for the state to set up a task force to be headed by a top military officer to carry out the demolition of all identified distressed buildings in the metropolis.
Oba Akiolu, last week during a courtesy call by the Building Collapse Prevention Guild (BCPG) in his palace, noted that issue of building collapse in the state has become very embarrassing in the recent time, thus, the need for the establishment of a committee to be headed by senior military officer, for the enforcement of building regulations across the state.
Led by its President, Mr. Kunle Awobodu, a builder, the group expressed its concern for incidences of collapse of buildings that has become order of the day.
The monarch, while condemning the development alleged connivance between developers and a few bad eggs in the government service as major cause of substandard building constructions resulting in collapse.
He also indicted some of his chiefs in conniving with developers in the construction of some substandard buildings in the metropolis.
“Government has to put its feet on the ground and do something. I just keep quiet and waiting for the right time to talk’, said Akiolu, adding that building control has to be done forcefully.
He disclosed that there are some buildings that had been marked for demolition in Lagos Island but alleged that some officials, in collusion with property owners, under the dark of the night went to clean up the marks, saying he is waiting for what they (government) will do to address the anomaly.
In his response, Awobodu said the frequency at which collapse of buildings is occurring in Lagos State, on the Island and the attendant loss of lives and property must now be squarely addressed.
He explained that government’s efforts alone have not yielded the desired results, adding that, it is high time traditional rulers and other influential stakeholders in Lagos State rose to the challenge of collapse of buildings. Awobodu, who noted that civilization and physical development started from Lagos Island, having been the seat of colonial government in Nigeria, wondered why the location has become a spot for myriads of substandard buildings.
It is ironical that Lagos Island that used to be the source of good architectural and building works in West Africa of those days is now desecrated by substandard and unsafe buildings.
It was out of sheer concern to restore the excellence in the history of Lagos, to avoid losses suffered in building collapse and save Nigerian building professionals and artisans from the world wide embarrassment of incompetence that led to the establishment of this body called BCPG,” he said.
The BCPG president said members of the Guild are put into different cells or localities across Lagos state, with the determination to complement government’s efforts.
“This could be achieved as every cell would have its eye in all the nooks and crannies of Lagos state”, said Awobodu, who was accompanied by the Lagos Island’s BCPG leader, Messrs. Hakeem Bushi, a town planner, Ayodeji Fashola and Mubarak Gbajabiamila, also a builder.
They urged Oba Akiolu to convene a stakeholders’ meeting of prominent sons and daughters of Lagos Island on the challenges of building collapse.
“A building committee composed of committed Lagos residents, men and women of integrity that have passion for a safe Lagos should be constituted by the Kabiyesi to work with both the Lagos State Building Control agency (LASBCA and BCPG), they suggested.